CHECKLISTS

Timothy and Titus – Inconspicuous Leadership

1 Timothy 5 checklistI am a list maker…even in retirement from my secular work. For me, what doesn’t get listed, doesn’t get done. It is also very rewarding for me to check that item off the list when it is accomplished. The list has a progression of priorities. One task cannot happen until another task is completed. And so life goes with my lists guiding my behavior and productivity.

As I journal each morning in my conversational prayer with God, the Father, His Spirit guides me to make another list that helps me to mature and grow in Him. I am convicted of some of those “fruits of the Spirit” that I have not tended to or cultivated, have ignored or left undone. His Holy Spirit redirects my thoughts and helps me form a list of tasks that will help me improve my behavior. “Keep a close check on yourself”, writes Paul to Timothy. For me, that means to make a spiritual checklist that keeps me in close contact with the will and purpose of our Father, God and helps me to grow closer to Him.

We can do nothing of significance without God. I am convinced that He guides us to all things that are good for our growth and aid our learning about Him and how He works. Paul also gives Timothy sound advice about how to treat those whom God has called to lead with character traits with another list of how to lead. This list still applies to us today. The theme of this episode seems to be; Know God, Know Yourself, Know The Message, Know Your Audience. Our deeds, good and bad, will be evident. Be driven by God’s love in us.

1 Timothy 5, The Message

17-18 Give a bonus to leaders who do a good job, especially the ones who work hard at preaching and teaching. Scripture tells us, “Don’t muzzle a working ox” and “A worker deserves his pay.”

19 Don’t listen to a complaint against a leader that isn’t backed up by two or three responsible witnesses.

20 If anyone falls into sin, call that person on the carpet. Those who are inclined that way will know right off they can’t get by with it.

21-23 God and Jesus and angels all back me up in these instructions. Carry them out without favoritism, without taking sides. Don’t appoint people to church leadership positions too hastily. If a person is involved in some serious sins, you don’t want to become an unwitting accomplice. In any event, keep a close check on yourself. And don’t worry too much about what the critics will say. Go ahead and drink a little wine, for instance; it’s good for your digestion, good medicine for what ails you.

24-25 The sins of some people are blatant and march them right into court. The sins of others don’t show up until much later. The same with good deeds. Some you see right off, but none are hidden forever.

1 Timothy 5 check yourselfLEADERSHIP PRINCIPLE #6: Keep a Close Check on Yourself

Leadership Characteristics –

–Fully rely on God. Trust Him with all you are and all you have. We are His. All we have is His.
–Ask God “if there is anything offensive to you, cleanse me.” as the Psalmist prayed.
–Repent with a heart and mind not wanting to return to the old life.
–Look full into the face of Jesus, our Master, Lord and Savior with laser focus so we know what direction to take next.
–“Keep a close check on yourself.” Avoid, “he did it, I can, too” or “my sin is not as bad as his sin” or “everybody’s doing it” mentality.
–Ask God for wisdom, insight and understanding.
–Allow God’s transformation to continue in our lives.
–Ask God to make your lists of to BE and to DO. HE will prioritize your lists in ways you cannot imagine! Where He guides, He provides help all along the journey.
–Do all in a Spirit of love for God and others.
–Care enough to confront others with God’s love and concern for their spiritual well-being and growth.

Warning   The things on our spiritual check list can never be crossed off because we’ll be working on them our whole lives. By listing we are reminding ourselves of what we need to work on to “keep a close check” on our lives. It is only by The Atonement of Jesus Christ can we accomplish anything of eternal significance.

Dear Heavenly Father,
You have convinced me that we must do spiritual “business” with You each day to improve our being in You. Thank you for helping us on this journey. Thank you for Your Holy Spirit that points out things in our behavior that could cause us to crash…before crashing. Thank you for always being with us, guiding and directing, loving and protecting and challenging us to grow and bear Fruit. Continue to transform me. Transform your church. Transform the world through your church.
In Jesus Name, Amen

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WHAT WILL IT TAKE?

Exodus – God’s Way Out
 
Exodus 9 power
We have asked this question in frustrating circumstances. What will it take to fix this thing? What will it take for this to work? What will it take for these kids to behave? What will it take for me to get life right? What will it take for my loved one to be well again? What will it take to get out of debt? What will it take for this virus to diminish? What will it take for us to be out of quarantine?
 
It could be worse. At this point in our story of God, Moses is probably asking what will it take for this mission to finally be over? What will it take for Pharaoh to cave?
 
Remember, while plague after plague is occurring, there is no respite for the Hebrews! God’s people, slaves to the Egyptians, are still driven to work beyond human physical and mental limits every day from sun up to sun down building straw bricks. We are sure they are crying out, “What will it take for this misery to cease?” They don’t have time to do anything but work hard during the plagues. But, they do see the power of God at work and are beginning to let hope rise.
 
Let’s read what is happening next…
 
Exodus 9, The Message
Strike Five: Animals
Exodus 9 pride1-4 God said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and tell him, ‘God, the God of the Hebrews, says: Release my people so they can worship me. If you refuse to release them and continue to hold on to them, I’m giving you fair warning: God will come down hard on your livestock out in the fields—horses, donkeys, camels, cattle, sheep—striking them with a severe disease. God will draw a sharp line between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt. Not one animal that belongs to the Israelites will die.’”
 
5 Then God set the time: “Tomorrow God will do this thing.”
 
6-7 And the next day God did it. All the livestock of Egypt died, but not one animal of the Israelites died. Pharaoh sent men to find out what had happened and there it was: none of the livestock of the Israelites had died—not one death. But Pharaoh stayed stubborn. He wouldn’t release the people.
 
Strike Six: Boils
Exodus 9 soot8-11 God said to Moses and Aaron, “Take fistfuls of soot from a furnace and have Moses throw it into the air right before Pharaoh’s eyes; it will become a film of fine dust all over Egypt and cause sores, an eruption of boils on people and animals throughout Egypt.” So they took soot from a furnace, stood in front of Pharaoh, and threw it up into the air. It caused boils to erupt on people and animals. The magicians weren’t able to compete with Moses this time because of the boils—they were covered with boils just like everyone else in Egypt.
 
12 God hardened Pharaoh in his stubbornness. He wouldn’t listen, just as God had said to Moses.
 
Strike Seven: Hail
Exodus 9 hail13-19 God said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and confront Pharaoh. Tell him, ‘God, the God of the Hebrews, says: Release my people so they can worship me. This time I am going to strike you and your servants and your people with the full force of my power so you’ll get it into your head that there’s no one like me anywhere in all the Earth.
 
You know that by now I could have struck you and your people with deadly disease and there would be nothing left of you, not a trace. But for one reason only I’ve kept you on your feet: To make you recognize my power so that my reputation spreads in all the Earth. You are still building yourself up at my people’s expense. You are not letting them go. So here’s what’s going to happen: At this time tomorrow I’m sending a terrific hailstorm—there’s never been a storm like this in Egypt from the day of its founding until now. So get your livestock under roof—everything exposed in the open fields, people and animals, will die when the hail comes down.’”
 
20-21 All of Pharaoh’s servants who had respect for God’s word got their workers and animals under cover as fast as they could, but those who didn’t take God’s word seriously left their workers and animals out in the field.
 
22 God said to Moses: “Stretch your hands to the skies. Signal the hail to fall all over Egypt on people and animals and crops exposed in the fields of Egypt.”
 
Exodus 9 the LORD23-26 Moses lifted his staff to the skies and God sent peals of thunder and hail shot through with lightning strikes. God rained hail down on the land of Egypt. The hail came, hail and lightning—a fierce hailstorm. There had been nothing like it in Egypt in its entire history. The hail hit hard all over Egypt. Everything exposed out in the fields, people and animals and crops, was smashed. Even the trees in the fields were shattered. Except for Goshen where the Israelites lived; there was no hail in Goshen.
 
27-28 Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron. He said, “I’ve sinned for sure this time—God is in the right and I and my people are in the wrong. Pray to God. We’ve had enough of God’s thunder and hail. I’ll let you go. The sooner you’re out of here the better.”
 
29-30 Moses said, “As soon as I’m out of the city, I’ll stretch out my arms to God. The thunder will stop and the hail end so you’ll know that the land is God’s land. Still, I know that you and your servants have no respect for God.”
 
31-32 (The flax and the barley were ruined, for they were just ripening, but the wheat and spelt weren’t hurt—they ripen later.)
 
33 Moses left Pharaoh and the city and stretched out his arms to God. The thunder and hail stopped; the storm cleared.
 
Exodus 9 hard heart
34-35 But when Pharaoh saw that the rain and hail and thunder had stopped, he kept right on sinning, stubborn as ever, both he and his servants. Pharaoh’s heart turned rock-hard. He refused to release the Israelites, as God had ordered through Moses.
 
WHAT is it going to take for this hardhearted man to give into God’s overwhelming power?
 
HOLY PAUSE
 
I think of people I love among my family and friends who do not know or follow God. What will it take for them to come to God and believe, really believe He is who He says He is. What will it take for them to realize how much He loves them? What will it take for the lost to be saved?
 
CONSIDER THIS…
 
The fifth and sixth plagues especially affected livestock. Here again is a contest between the Lord and the Egyptian gods. The great gods were symbolized by sacred animals such as the bull, the ram, and the he-goat. God shows that these gods are as helpless before him as are their human magicians.
 
Exodus 9 God's powerIn a forceful statement to Pharaoh, God underlines the purpose of the plagues (9:15-16). If destruction was God’s purpose, he could have done that long since. Rather, using the Egyptian gods and Pharaoh himself as foils, God intends to reveal himself to the world.
 
“But for one reason only I’ve kept you on your feet: To make you recognize my power so that my reputation spreads in all the Earth.”
 
Because of the desert on the west, rainstorms are uncommon in Egypt. It would be frightening enough that this great storm should occur at all. But that it should begin and end precisely on Moses’ cue would make it frankly terrifying.
 
Exodus 9 proverbFinally, Pharaoh admits that there is some other standard than his own to which he is accountable (9:27). But intellectually knowing does not guarantee surrender of the will (v.35). From the perspective of his own responsibility, Pharaoh hardened his own heart. But from the perspective of God’s purposes this act was entirely within a plan.
 
Pharaoh’s words are ironic. He says something like, “The Lord really will be with you if I ever let you go on those terms.” Faced with proof of his helplessness before God, Pharaoh still tries to dictate terms. Pride would rather see everything around it ruined than admit anything superior to itself. Finally Pharaoh is forced to recognize the Lord’s existence even if he will not acknowledge him (“the Lord your God,” v.17).
 
Exodus 9 Son sets free
What will it take? We will find out as we continue to God’s Story in Moses and in His people.
 
What will it take for us to really believe what we say we believe about God?
 
Dear Heavenly Father,
You are God, our Creator, our Sustainer, Deliverer, Protector, and Giver of Life eternal through Jesus Christ, Your Son. You have all power to do what you know is best. We lean into your power, love, mercy and grace this morning. We pray for the hearts of the lost to soften, eyes to be opened and ears to hear you, come to you in surrender to you and your will for them. I thank you for saving my soul, healing my broken spirit and loving me back to spiritual health. I thank you for our intimate relationship. Thank you for allowing me to see your glorious power at work each day.
In Jesus Name, Amen
 
What will it take? Humility.
 
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14, NIV
 
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INVASION OF LIFESTYLE

Exodus – God’s Way Out
 
Exodus 8 roachesWith one toddler and one on the way, we bought our first home. It was a small, affordable, two bedroom home. The home was plain but functional. What sold me was the big backyard with beautiful roses, irises, and other beautiful plants. However, once we moved in, we discovered a huge problem. Our home had an infestation of roaches. If you have ever lived in the southern regions, you know what kind of ruthless insects these are. We were plagued with them! They got into everything!
 
I would pull out a pot to cook in, scream at a couple of these unwanted, detestable live-ins crawling around and then scour the pot after getting rid of them. It was a nightmare. We tried to take care of this problem ourselves. We pulled everything from cabinets and closets to spray pesticides that were supposed to kill them and make them go away.
 
But it wouldn’t last. They would come right back with packed bags ready to live with us again! There is nothing like coming into a dark kitchen at night to get a drink and see them scatter when you turned on the light. We crashed their “party” many times. Yuck. This was an invasion of our lifestyle!
 
There is nothing more sickening than to step on one of these critters in bare feet as you get out of bed in the dark or walk into the washroom or pantry. They were disgusting and they were everywhere. I completely understand why God used plagues of frogs and insects to get the attention of Pharaoh (and His people).
 
You feel powerless when small insects take over your life. So we called in someone greater than us. Here’s what we learned from our exterminator. He had the “right stuff” to rid us temporarily of this problem, but the roaches will just go next door and infest the neighbor’s house. When the neighbor sprays for the pesky intruders, they will come back to our house when the poison disseminates.
 
What do we do then? Our exterminator had a stronger solution that would rid our home of them for good. It was not on the market, but he had it in his arsenal. It was so strong we would have to leave our home for a few days for it to work without hurting us!
 
No problem! If this works we were willing to do whatever it took! We wanted our home back in our control, not controlled by roaches! By the way, it did work! Then there were the termites…
 
Can you imagine thousands upon millions of frogs, gnats and flies? I think I threw up a little in my mouth. I am having flashbacks to my roach days. When our exterminator completed his work. We returned to our home a couple of days later to sweep up all the dead bodies. I know what that is like, too. Were these plagues, (like the corona virus), invasions of the Egyptians’ lifestyle?
 
Now imagine all the dead bodies of frogs, gnats and flies to be disposed of because the GREAT EXTERMINATOR ceased their lives! They didn’t come back, either. But the evidence of God’s power lay all around them. Did that bring Pharaoh to his knees, not yet.
 
Exodus 8, The Message
 
Exodus 8 MosesStrike Two: Frogs
1-4 God said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and tell him, ‘God’s Message: Release my people so they can worship me. If you refuse to release them, I’m warning you, I’ll hit the whole country with frogs. The Nile will swarm with frogs—they’ll come up into your houses, into your bedrooms and into your beds, into your servants’ quarters, among the people, into your ovens and pots and pans. They’ll be all over you, all over everyone—frogs everywhere, on and in everything!’”
 
Exodus 8 frogs5 God said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Wave your staff over the rivers and canals and ponds. Bring up frogs on the land of Egypt.’”
 
6 Aaron stretched his staff over the waters of Egypt and a mob of frogs came up and covered the country.
 
7 But again the magicians did the same thing using their incantations—they also produced frogs in Egypt.
 
8 Pharaoh called in Moses and Aaron and said, “Pray to God to rid us of these frogs. I’ll release the people so that they can make their sacrifices and worship God.”
 
9 Moses said to Pharaoh, “Certainly. Set the time. When do you want the frogs out of here, away from your servants and people and out of your houses? You’ll be rid of frogs except for those in the Nile.”
 
Exodus 8 no one like10-11 “Make it tomorrow.”
 
Moses said, “Tomorrow it is—so you’ll realize that there is no God like our God. The frogs will be gone. You and your houses and your servants and your people, free of frogs. The only frogs left will be the ones in the Nile.”
 
12-14 Moses and Aaron left Pharaoh, and Moses prayed to God about the frogs he had brought on Pharaoh. God responded to Moses’ prayer: The frogs died off—houses, courtyards, fields, all free of frogs. They piled the frogs in heaps. The country reeked of dead frogs.
 
15 But when Pharaoh saw that he had some breathing room, he got stubborn again and wouldn’t listen to Moses and Aaron. Just as God had said.
 
Strike Three: Gnats
Exodus 8 gnats16 God said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Take your staff and strike the dust. The dust will turn into gnats all over Egypt.’”
 
17 He did it. Aaron grabbed his staff and struck the dust of the Earth; it turned into gnats, gnats all over people and animals. All the dust of the Earth turned into gnats, gnats everywhere in Egypt.
 
18 The magicians tried to produce gnats with their incantations but this time they couldn’t do it. There were gnats everywhere, all over people and animals.
 
19 The magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is God’s doing.” But Pharaoh was stubborn and wouldn’t listen. Just as God had said.
 
Strike Four: Flies
Exodus 8 invasion20-23 God said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and confront Pharaoh as he goes down to the water. Tell him, ‘God’s Message: Release my people so they can worship me. If you don’t release my people, I’ll release swarms of flies on you, your servants, your people, and your homes. The houses of the Egyptians and even the ground under their feet will be thick with flies. But when it happens, I’ll set Goshen where my people live aside as a sanctuary—no flies in Goshen. That will show you that I am God in this land. I’ll make a sharp distinction between your people and mine. This sign will occur tomorrow.’”
 
Exodus 8 flies swarm24 And God did just that. Thick swarms of flies in Pharaoh’s palace and the houses of his servants. All over Egypt, the country ruined by flies.
 
25 Pharaoh called in Moses and Aaron and said, “Go ahead. Sacrifice to your God—but do it here in this country.”
 
26-27 Moses said, “That would not be wise. What we sacrifice to our God would give great offense to Egyptians. If we openly sacrifice what is so deeply offensive to Egyptians, they’ll kill us. Let us go three days’ journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to our God, just as he instructed us.”
 
28 Pharaoh said, “All right. I’ll release you to go and sacrifice to your God in the wilderness. Only don’t go too far. Now pray for me.”
 
29 Moses said, “As soon as I leave here, I will pray to God that tomorrow the flies will leave Pharaoh, his servants, and his people. But don’t play games with us and change your mind about releasing us to sacrifice to God.”
 
30-32 Moses left Pharaoh and prayed to God. God did what Moses asked. He got rid of the flies from Pharaoh and his servants and his people. There wasn’t a fly left. But Pharaoh became stubborn once again and wouldn’t release the people.
 
INCH BY INCH IN THE MISSION TO LEAVE EGYPT
 
Exodus 8 let my people go
Pharaoh is not going to budge. At least God’s people were spared the flies. (Remember the old camp song? Smiling at “There might be flies on some of you guys but there ain’t no flies on me”, UH!) God’s power is trumping all that the magicians have to offer through their slight of hand or imagery.
 
HOLY PAUSE
 
What do God’s people think and understand about God at this point?
 
What do we think?
 
Who is in control of the situation?
 
Who is in control of our lives? Plagued by the corona virus our faith is being tested. How we respond will speak volumes to people without God.
 
THE POWER OF GOD
 
Exodus 8 finger of GodAs we mentioned before the Egyptians had gods for everything around them but did not know THE GOD. The Egyptians gave special reverence to animals that could live in two different environments. They did this because they were eager to be able to live in the environment of the underworld after death. But God shows that these beasts and their representative gods have no special power at all.
 
Although the magicians also produced frogs, it is still to Moses and Aaron that Pharaoh looks for relief (8:8). Perhaps he finally has an inkling that he is dealing with a divine power beyond the reach of magic.
 
The third and fourth plagues, gnats and flies (8:16-30), represent God’s power over the insect world. Again, the Egyptians revered insects because of their apparent ability to thrive in filth and even bring life out of it. These powers would be of special importance to those who sought to live through the corruption of death. But God shows that the powers of the insect gods belong to him.
 
It is the work of the supernatural, God, to cause the gnats and flies to occur in one locality and not in another. In a profound illustration of human nature Pharaoh first attempts to bargain with God for his obedience but in the end refuses to keep his side of the bargain.
HOLY PAUSE
Do we bargain with God, only to drop our side of the bargain?
 
BETTER question – Who do we think we are to bargain with God? Yikes.
 
Remember, staying isolated to combat a virus that is spreading across the world is wise. Don’t bargain with God to be spared, instead get closer to Him, ask Him what He wants from us in this present circumstance. Ask God what He wast us to learn from this experience.
 
Exodus 8 tomorrowWhat do we see God doing these days?
Watch for Him. He is always at work . I am seeing people come together to help each other in ways that are loving and creative. I’m also seeing care and creativity in our lifestyles as we rediscover our families. We see rapid innovations in medicine and in the way we serve each other.
 
Most of all we are taking our care of people as believers to even greater heights with new ways to get out of the building to deliver the message of hope for people, helping them find and follow Jesus. We are using our minds to improve our methods using the technology available to us.
 
GOD is doing this. GOD is at work through us. GOD is in control.
 
This virus will run it’s course, but I pray our relationship with God and each other continues to grow and build. God has put this fire in our souls! He has our attention.
 
Dear Heavenly Father,
We are learning so much about You as we read about the power of You working through your people. We are humbled, like Moses, that you would choose to do your work in and through us from time to time as you invite us to join you. Your Word is about YOU, your power, your love for us, and your way out for all of us. Thank you, Jesus, for your sacrificial part to redeem us and bring us into a right relationship with God, the Father forever.
In Jesus Name, Amen
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I WILL BRING YOU OUT

Exodus – God’s Way Out
 
Exodus 6 GodI’ve done my share of whining to God when things don’t go as planned…in my mind and in my way. I have noticed something in me when life falls apart, my first thought is how did I go wrong. My second thought is to look for blame beyond myself. Finally, I consider that this is just life and life can be hard. I am reminded of all my weaknesses. It is in this time that I forget God’s strength and power for a little while. Nothing is too hard for God. Absolutely nothing. I am weak when I forget that even for a moment.
 
HOLY PAUSE
What has been so overwhelming for you lately that makes you angry, anxious, fearful and whiny?
 
Exodus 6 go tellMoses had his first run at Pharaoh who swatted him away like a pesky mosquito…(there’s worse in store for Pharaoh when it comes to insects!) Yesterday we listened to what Moses was up against as Pharaoh shouted, ““Why on earth, Moses and Aaron, would you suggest the people be given a holiday? Back to work!” Pharaoh went on, “Look, I’ve got all these people bumming around, and now you want to reward them with time off?” I am assuming and imagining that Pharaoh shouted these words at the thought of losing his workforce, even for a few days. I am also assuming that Moses and Aaron didn’t put a fight. They only said God’s words and left.
 
Exodus 6 hardNow times are tougher for the Hebrews. They are so beaten down, tired and weak that when Moses tries to reassure them that it wasn’t last forever, that God will bring them out of this present trouble, they don’t believe him. In fact their whining and groaning under the weight of bondage drives them to anger with Moses and ultimately with God.
 
Now Moses feels he cannot possibly do this work God has invited him to do. So God reassures him, “I AM God. I WILL bring you out…” Moses delivers God’s words of assurance to the Hebrews but they are too angry and weak to hear it. They only see the daily, heavy work load they are enslaved to doing.
 
Let’s pick up God’s story and see where this leads…
 
Exodus 6, The Message
God said to Moses, “Now you’ll see what I’ll do to Pharaoh: With a strong hand he’ll send them out free; with a strong hand he’ll drive them out of his land.”
 
Exodus 6 free you2-6 God continued speaking to Moses, reassuring him, “I am God. I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as The Strong God, but by my name God (I-Am-Present) I was not known to them. I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the country in which they lived as sojourners. But now I’ve heard the groanings of the Israelites whom the Egyptians continue to enslave and I’ve remembered my covenant. Therefore tell the Israelites:
 
6-8 “I am God. I will bring you out from under the cruel hard labor of Egypt. I will rescue you from slavery. I will redeem you, intervening with great acts of judgment. I’ll take you as my own people and I’ll be God to you. You’ll know that I am God, your God who brings you out from under the cruel hard labor of Egypt. I’ll bring you into the land that I promised to give Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and give it to you as your own country. I AM God.”
 
Exodus 6 I AM9 But when Moses delivered this message to the Israelites, they didn’t even hear him—they were that beaten down in spirit by the harsh slave conditions.
 
10-11 Then God said to Moses, “Go and speak to Pharaoh king of Egypt so that he will release the Israelites from his land.”
 
12 Moses answered God, “Look—the Israelites won’t even listen to me. How do you expect Pharaoh to? And besides, I stutter.”
 
13 But God again laid out the facts to Moses and Aaron regarding the Israelites and Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he again commanded them to lead the Israelites out of the land of Egypt.
 
The Family Tree of Moses and Aaron
14 These are the heads of the tribes:
 
The sons of Reuben, Israel’s firstborn: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi—these are the families of Reuben.
 
15 The sons of Simeon: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jakin, Zohar, and Saul, the son of a Canaanite woman—these are the families of Simeon.
 
16 These are the names of the sons of Levi in the order of their birth: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. Levi lived 137 years.
 
17 The sons of Gershon by family: Libni and Shimei.
 
18 The sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. Kohath lived to be 133.
 
19 The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi.
 
Exodus 6 bring you outThese are the sons of Levi in the order of their birth.
 
20 Amram married his aunt Jochebed and she had Aaron and Moses. Amram lived to be 137.
 
21 The sons of Izhar: Korah, Nepheg, and Zicri.
 
22 The sons of Uzziel: Mishael, Elzaphan, and Sithri.
 
23 Aaron married Elisheba, the daughter of Amminadab and sister of Nahshon, and she had Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.
 
24 The sons of Korah: Assir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph. These are the families of the Korahites.
 
25 Aaron’s son Eleazar married one of the daughters of Putiel and she had Phinehas.
 
These are the heads of the Levite families, family by family.
 
26-27 This is the Aaron and Moses whom God ordered: “Bring the Israelites out of the land of Egypt clan by clan.” These are the men, Moses and Aaron, who told Pharaoh king of Egypt to release the Israelites from Egypt.
 
“I’ll Make You as a God to Pharaoh”
28 And that’s how things stood when God next spoke to Moses in Egypt.
 
29 God addressed Moses, saying, “I am God. Tell Pharaoh king of Egypt everything I say to you.”
 
30 And Moses answered, “Look at me. I stutter. Why would Pharaoh listen to me?”
 
CONSIDER THIS
 
Exodus 6 fail and faithWhy is the family tree of the 12 Tribes of Israel plopped right in the middle of this crises? Because God is reminding Moses and Aaron where they came from and who they are and then tells them where they are going. They needed to be reminded.
 
God then reiterates the mission. “I am God. Tell Pharaoh…”
 
Moses, full of fear after his first failure to communicate to Pharaoh, returns to the list of all his weaknesses.
 
Do we do that?
 
When we fail do we immediately list all our human weaknesses and inabilities as a way to explain the failure?
 
We can’t be too hard on Moses then, can we?
 
Exodus 6 redeem
In 6:1-12 we see how the crisis, which now existed as a result of Pharaoh’s obstinately uncooperative attitude toward God’s authority speaking through Moses/Aaron dramatically worsened situation, provided a setting for the needed demonstration of God’s character.
 
“I am God. I will bring you out…I will rescue you…I will redeem you…”
 
Jesus Christ, God’s Son, was sent down from heaven to do the same for us. He brought us out of sin, rescued us from a life enslaved to evil that leads only to death and redeem us by His blood to pay for our sin for life, life eternal with Him!
 
Love, mercy, grace is the character of God. Let us not forget that in our own troubles in this imperfect world. God will bring us out, rescue us and has provided The Way to redeem us.
 
Exodus 6 way outDear Heavenly Father,
YOU are the WAY out of this current situation that the world is fighting to control. As we quarantine, draw close and reassure us that you are God. Out of the bad, you bring your goodness to the situation but many people coming together. Continue that trend as You will bring us out of this trouble.
 
I know You will rescue us. You have already redeemed us and for that we are eternally grateful. Help us turn our whining into praise and our groanings into gratitude for Who you are and What you are doing in and through us as we wait for the day when we can leave our homes once again.
 
I pray for those who are working to heal the sick and for those trying to control the spread of this virus. Give us all wisdom. This, too, will pass. Great is Your Faithfulness, O God, our Father.
In Jesus Name, Amen
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AND WHO IS GOD THAT I SHOULD LISTEN?

Exodus – God’s Way Out
 
Exodus 5 draws usThere are some people that might be blaming God and accuse Him of sending a virus among us to stop our whining. But that isn’t how God works. We live in a fallen world, with fallen people who make unwise decisions that affect all of us. We have a God who listens, hears and comes to help us when we cry out to Him. Many do not know God so they do not listen.
 
Will our testimony of who God is be enough to help people understand who He is and that He deserves our attention? Will what we say, led by His Holy Spirit, help people in this time of distress, fear and anxiety turn to God? We have hope and we need to share the Hope of God who delivered us through Jesus, our redeemer.
 
Like Pharaoh, many today are asking, “Who is God that I should listen to Him..?
 
When bad times get worse, before they get better, will we still be tenacious in our faith in our Father who knows what we are going through?
 
Exodus 5, The Message
 
Moses and Aaron and Pharaoh
After that Moses and Aaron approached Pharaoh. They said, “God, the God of Israel, says, ‘Free my people so that they can hold a festival for me in the wilderness.’”
 
Exodus 5 who is this2 Pharaoh said, “And who is God that I should listen to him and send Israel off? I know nothing of this so-called ‘God’ and I’m certainly not going to send Israel off.”
 
3 They said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness so we can worship our God lest he strike us with either disease or death.”
 
4-5 But the king of Egypt said, “Why on earth, Moses and Aaron, would you suggest the people be given a holiday? Back to work!” Pharaoh went on, “Look, I’ve got all these people bumming around, and now you want to reward them with time off?”
 
6-9 Pharaoh took immediate action. He sent down orders to the slave-drivers and their underlings: “Don’t provide straw for the people for making bricks as you have been doing. Make them get their own straw. And make them produce the same number of bricks—no reduction in their daily quotas! They’re getting lazy. They’re going around saying, ‘Give us time off so we can worship our God.’ Crack down on them. That’ll cure them of their whining, their god-fantasies.”
 
10-12 The slave-drivers and their underlings went out to the people with their new instructions. “Pharaoh’s orders: No more straw provided. Get your own straw wherever you can find it. And not one brick less in your daily work quota!” The people scattered all over Egypt scrabbling for straw.
 
Exodus 5 make13 The slave-drivers were merciless, saying, “Complete your daily quota of bricks—the same number as when you were given straw.”
 
14 The Israelite foremen whom the slave-drivers had appointed were beaten and badgered. “Why didn’t you finish your quota of bricks yesterday or the day before—and now again today?”
 
15-16 The Israelite foremen came to Pharaoh and cried out for relief: “Why are you treating your servants like this? Nobody gives us any straw and they tell us, ‘Make bricks!’ Look at us—we’re being beaten. And it’s not our fault.”
 
17-18 But Pharaoh said, “Lazy! That’s what you are! Lazy! That’s why you whine, ‘Let us go so we can worship God.’ Well then, go—go back to work. Nobody’s going to give you straw, and at the end of the day you better bring in your full quota of bricks.”
 
19 The Israelite foremen saw that they were in a bad way, having to go back and tell their workers, “Not one brick short in your daily quota.”
 
20-21 As they left Pharaoh, they found Moses and Aaron waiting to meet them. The foremen said to them, “May God see what you’ve done and judge you—you’ve made us stink before Pharaoh and his servants! You’ve put a weapon in his hand that’s going to kill us!”
 
Exodus 5 why God22-23 Moses went back to God and said, “My Master, why are you treating this people so badly? And why did you ever send me? From the moment I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, things have only gotten worse for this people. And rescue? Does this look like rescue to you?”
 
CONSIDER THIS…
 
Moses and Aaron’s initial announcement (4:29-31) met with a good deal of acceptance from the Hebrews. The prospect of a magical release without cost or difficulty always meets with such approval. What if someone announced “I have a way out of this virus situation”? Wouldn’t we readily accept it?
 
However, God’s activity is never without cost and difficulty, as it was not here. It is in the context of this difficulty that the underlying issue of the book of Exodus emerges:
 
Who is Yahweh? (5:2)
What is his power?
Can he be trusted?
 
The real problem of the people was their ignorance of God. Until they came to know him, mere physical deliverance could only lead to a different kind of bondage.
 
Since Pharaoh was considered God incarnate by the Egyptians, there was no reason why he should obey some unknown god of the Semites. Since he could not accept the reality of Yahweh’s (God’s) revelation, he had to imagine some other reason for the Hebrews’ request. Surely they had too much time on their hands (5:8). Let them spend that time gathering the straw used to bind the mud bricks together while drying.
 
God’s offer of deliverance made the situation worse, not better. This is often true in life: to begin to follow God is to attract the attention and the wrath of God’s enemies. Verse 23 brings to a sharp focus the questions that emerged about God’s nature and character.
 
HOLY PAUSE
Exodus 5 whyIn the midst of our own world crisis are we asking why, why, why?
 
Why God am I losing my job?
 
Why can’t life go on as normal?
 
Why are people hoarding the supplies?
 
Why do I have to stay inside my house for weeks?
 
Why is this happening?
 
Better questions might be:
 
Exodus 5 who do you sayWhat are you teaching me?
 
How can I help others through this?
 
How will this strengthen our faith in you?
 
How will you turn this bad situation to good? (He will.)
 
Will your glory and power be seen in this? (Certainly, He will!)
 
God answers these prayers immediately with holy revelation of WHO He is and how He works!
 
Latest example: During a new online Bible study we began last night with some young ladies, one was distressed over finishing her coursework from a local college. The virus has cause her to quarantined in her home with six children while trying to finish her schoolwork. Another woman in the group immediately spoke up to offer help. This woman who popped in was an instructor, in the student’s field of study, at her college and offered to help her through it!!! People, this is GOD!!
 
Exodus 5 whoAND WHO IS GOD THAT I SHOULD LISTEN?
 
Allow God to reveal Himself to you today by looking up, listening and watching where He is already at work!
 
Father,
We will be looking for you, watching for you, listening and obeying you when you invite us to come along and join you in your work. You are amazing! Thank you for all you have done, are doing and will do in our lives.
In Jesus Name, Amen
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DON’T MESS WITH GOD!

Exodus – God’s Way Out
 
Exodus 4 what if IWhen God asks us to be His representative, joining Him in His work of salvation, do we jump up and run to Him without question? Is “YES” our first thought? It probably is yes because we are being as by God! But, then the “how in the world are we going to do that” cascades our thoughts with fear and trembling. We are human, it happens. It happened to Moses.
 
Remembering that all of God’s Word is about Him and how He works in the lives of His people, we come to Moses’ response to God’s invitation command to free God’s people from the bondage of slavery in Egypt. Watch how God handles Moses– it is nothing short of miraculous! This is a just a small taste of what God will do through Moses in Egypt. Why does God work in this way? He is training Moses and building His faith for the mission.
 
HOLY PAUSE:
God knows how Moses will respond and God is ready with showing Moses that HE will be doing all the heavy lifting in this mission to save God’s people. God, not Moses.
 
Do we say yes then allow the demons to list all the reasons why we cannot do what God is asking us to be and do?
 
Bigger Question: Do we really believe what we say we believe about God?
 
Who we believe and Who we trust with total faith decides what we will be and do in this life. Faith can and does conquer our fear.
 
Moses learns quickly, don’t mess with the God of Creation!
 
Exodus 4, The Message
Exodus 4 what ifMoses objected, “They won’t trust me. They won’t listen to a word I say. They’re going to say, ‘God? Appear to him? Hardly!’”
 
2 So God said, “What’s that in your hand?”
 
“A staff.”
 
3 “Throw it on the ground.” He threw it. It became a snake; Moses jumped back—fast!
 
Exodus 4 His staff4-5 God said to Moses, “Reach out and grab it by the tail.” He reached out and grabbed it—and he was holding his staff again. “That’s so they will trust that God appeared to you, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”
 
6 God then said, “Put your hand inside your shirt.” He slipped his hand under his shirt, then took it out. His hand had turned leprous, like snow.
 
7 He said, “Put your hand back under your shirt.” He did it, then took it back out—as healthy as before.
 
8-9 “So if they don’t trust you and aren’t convinced by the first sign, the second sign should do it. But if it doesn’t, if even after these two signs they don’t trust you and listen to your message, take some water out of the Nile and pour it out on the dry land; the Nile water that you pour out will turn to blood when it hits the ground.”
 
Exodus 4 send10 Moses raised another objection to God: “Master, please, I don’t talk well. I’ve never been good with words, neither before nor after you spoke to me. I stutter and stammer.”
 
11-12 God said, “And who do you think made the human mouth? And who makes some mute, some deaf, some sighted, some blind? Isn’t it I, God? So, get going. I’ll be right there with you—with your mouth! I’ll be right there to teach you what to say.”
 
13 He said, “Oh, Master, please! Send somebody else!”
 
Exodus 4 god will14-17 God got angry with Moses: “Don’t you have a brother, Aaron the Levite? He’s good with words, I know he is. He speaks very well. In fact, at this very moment he’s on his way to meet you. When he sees you he’s going to be glad. You’ll speak to him and tell him what to say. I’ll be right there with you as you speak and with him as he speaks, teaching you step by step. He will speak to the people for you. He’ll act as your mouth, but you’ll decide what comes out of it. Now take this staff in your hand; you’ll use it to do the signs.”
 
18 Moses went back to Jethro his father-in-law and said, “I need to return to my relatives who are in Egypt. I want to see if they’re still alive.”
 
Jethro said, “Go. And peace be with you.”
 
19 God said to Moses in Midian: “Go. Return to Egypt. All the men who wanted to kill you are dead.”
 
20 So Moses took his wife and sons and put them on a donkey for the return trip to Egypt. He had a firm grip on the staff of God.
 
21-23 God said to Moses, “When you get back to Egypt, be prepared: All the wonders that I will do through you, you’ll do before Pharaoh. But I will make him stubborn so that he will refuse to let the people go. Then you are to tell Pharaoh, ‘God’s Message: Israel is my son, my firstborn! I told you, “Free my son so that he can serve me.” But you refused to free him. So now I’m going to kill your son, your firstborn.’”
 
24-26 On the journey back, as they camped for the night, God met Moses and would have killed him but Zipporah took a flint knife and cut off her son’s foreskin, and touched Moses’ member with it. She said, “Oh! You’re a bridegroom of blood to me!” Then God let him go. She used the phrase “bridegroom of blood” because of the circumcision.
 
27-28 God spoke to Aaron, “Go and meet Moses in the wilderness.” He went and met him at the mountain of God and kissed him. Moses told Aaron the message that God had sent him to speak and the wonders he had commanded him to do.
 
29-31 So Moses and Aaron proceeded to round up all the leaders of Israel. Aaron told them everything that God had told Moses and demonstrated the wonders before the people. And the people trusted and listened believing that God was concerned with what was going on with the Israelites and knew all about their affliction. They bowed low and they worshiped.
 
THINK ABOUT IT…
 
Exodus 4 handYesterday we learned who God is with many I AM statements. Today we learn about what God does with I WILL declarations.
 
What has God done in your life to get your attention? Is there anything He has given and then taken away to show He is God?
 
What and where was your latest “burning bush” revelation?
 
Did you say yes immediately? Was that followed by doubts about your abilities to do what God was asking you to do?
 
Where are you now? What is God asking you to be and do now?
 
THERE’S MORE TO THE STORY OF GOD IN MOSES!
 
In Greek the word means “the way out.” At first glance, the reader may think this refers to the way out of Egyptian bondage. But if that were the case, the book should end at chapter 15 with the great song of praise after the crossing of the Red Sea.
 
Exodus 4 knowHowever, the fact that the book does not end there but continues with the giving of the law and the building of the tabernacle provides a clue that the author does not consider the physical bondage in Egypt to be the Israelites’ most critical problem.
 
Even in the story of the Israelites’ deliverance, the recurring phrase “You (or they) shall know that I am the Lord” suggests that the primary problem was theological. To be sure, the Hebrews did need deliverance from bondage; their cries of distress had been heard by a compassionate God. But more than that, they needed to KNOW God.
 
Exodus 4 leaderHad their sole need been for deliverance, one climactic act would have sufficed. Instead, there were ten plagues, which in fact constituted a demonstration of God’s absolute superiority over all other powers. Their physical deliverance is not an end but a means to an end.
 
Nor was that end merely theological understanding; it was the experiencing of God as vitally present among them. As Exodus shows us, it was necessary that the people experience his delivering power (chs. 1-18), enter into a binding covenant with him (chs. 19-24), and give themselves in glad service to him (chs. 25-40), in order to experience his presence (40:35-38).
 
The powerful acts of God were as much for the Israelite people as much as it was for the Egyptian leadership!
 
HOLY PAUSE
 
Exodus 4 noHave we experienced God’s delivering power in our lives through Jesus saving act of love?
 
Have we entered into a binding, “no turning back” covenant with Him?
 
Are we daily giving ourselves in glad service to Him? (Refer to Romans 12)
 
Our answers depend on and will decide the experiencing of His Presence in our lives.
 
Dear Heavenly Father, God of Creation, Savior and Lord,
I bow to you. You are God and I am not. Continue to do what you must in me so I will be all you intended for me to be in you. My desire is to walk in Your Presence. Always.
In Jesus Name, Amen. I believe.
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HELLO, I AM GOD

Exodus – God’s Way Out
 
Exodus 3 God isGod reintroduces Himself to His people who have been working hard to just survive. They have multiplied in numbers only to be used as slaves to ungodly leaders in a land they do not belong.
 
As we read, notice God’s description of Himself to Moses, as this unlikely, stuttering, murdering shepherd becomes the person God sends to lead His people out of Egypt. It is more about WHO God is than who He uses.
 
Remember that…when He sends you.
 
Exodus 3, The Message
Exodus 3 meeting1-2 Moses was shepherding the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. He led the flock to the west end of the wilderness and came to the mountain of God, Horeb. The angel of God appeared to him in flames of fire blazing out of the middle of a bush. He looked. The bush was blazing away but it didn’t burn up.
 
3 Moses said, “What’s going on here? I can’t believe this! Amazing! Why doesn’t the bush burn up?”
 
Exodus 3 I AM4 God saw that he had stopped to look. God called to him from out of the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
 
He said, “Yes? I’m right here!”
 
5 God said, “Don’t come any closer. Remove your sandals from your feet. You’re standing on holy ground.”
 
6 Then he said, “I am the God of your father: The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob.”
 
Moses hid his face, afraid to look at God.
 
Exodus 3 I know7-8 God said, “I’ve taken a good, long look at the affliction of my people in Egypt. I’ve heard their cries for deliverance from their slave masters; I know all about their pain. And now I have come down to help them, pry them loose from the grip of Egypt, get them out of that country and bring them to a good land with wide-open spaces, a land lush with milk and honey, the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite.
 
9-10 “The Israelite cry for help has come to me, and I’ve seen for myself how cruelly they’re being treated by the Egyptians. It’s time for you to go back: I’m sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the People of Israel, out of Egypt.”
 
Exodus 3 who am I11 Moses answered God, “But why me? What makes you think that I could ever go to Pharaoh and lead the children of Israel out of Egypt?”
 
12 “I’ll be with you,” God said. “And this will be the proof that I am the one who sent you: When you have brought my people out of Egypt, you will worship God right here at this very mountain.”
 
13 Then Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the People of Israel and I tell them, ‘The God of your fathers sent me to you’; and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ What do I tell them?”
 
14 God said to Moses, “I-AM-WHO-I-AM. Tell the People of Israel, ‘I-AM sent me to you.’”
 
15 God continued with Moses: “This is what you’re to say to the Israelites: ‘God, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob sent me to you.’ This has always been my name, and this is how I always will be known.
 
Exodus I am Who16-17 “Now be on your way. Gather the leaders of Israel. Tell them, ‘God, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, appeared to me, saying, “I’ve looked into what’s being done to you in Egypt, and I’ve determined to get you out of the affliction of Egypt and take you to the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, a land brimming over with milk and honey.”’
 
18 “Believe me, they will listen to you. Then you and the leaders of Israel will go to the king of Egypt and say to him: ‘God, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness where we will worship God—our God.’
 
19-22 “I know that the king of Egypt won’t let you go unless forced to, so I’ll intervene and hit Egypt where it hurts—oh, my miracles will send them reeling!—after which they’ll be glad to send you off. I’ll see to it that this people get a hearty send-off by the Egyptians—when you leave, you won’t leave empty-handed! Each woman will ask her neighbor and any guests in her house for objects of silver and gold, for jewelry and extra clothes; you’ll put them on your sons and daughters. Oh, you’ll clean the Egyptians out!”
 
WHO IS GOD?
 
Exodus 3 Am that
God’s identity and character is revealed to Moses who grew up as an Egyptian. God repeats so Moses is clear it will be God doing the work in and through Moses.
 
1. I AM – I was, I am and I always will be.
2. I AM the God of your ancestry; Abraham, Isaac and Jacob
3. I KNOW what is happening, heard the cries and I know about their pain.
4. Now I have come down with a way out.
5. I AM determined to get you out.
6. I will be with you. You will worship Me when the plan is complete.
7. I AM the one who sends you. I AM in control.
8. GOD is my name now and forever more. I AM
9. I-AM-WHO-I-AM
10.Believe Me…who sends you.
11.I KNOW what you are up against.
12.I WILL intervene.
13.I WILL protect you.
14.I WILL provide for your needs for the journey out.
 
HOLY PAUSE
 
Exodus 3 I willWho is God in your thinking and understanding? Who does God say He is?
 
Does God still speak to our hearts today?
 
Can God’s glory seen and felt as we go through good times and bad? Do miracles still happen?
 
When have you experienced a “God-sent” time in your life when you felt totally inadequate for the work He has invited you to do?
 
What is the bottom line in this story? Who God sends or Who God is?
 
When we center our thoughts on God, the story of how He works in the lives of others bring us closer to understanding how He works in and through all of us. It’s not about us.
 
I AM is life. I AM sent Jesus to save us. I AM loves us and wants us to love him back. I AM is our Father who is always with us if we believe and will always protect us and provide for our needs.
 
I AM knows the way out. Follow Him.
 
Dear Father,
Thank you for reintroducing Yourself to us through Your word this morning. Thank You for saving our souls. Thank you for Your relentless love, amazing grace and undeserved mercy. I love you back with all my heart, mind and soul. You are God, I AM, and i am not. Only You will be worshiped and praised for eternity. Thank you for being with us.
In Jesus Name and by Your Power in us, Amen
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GOD SEES WHAT IS GOING ON

Exodus – God’s Way Out
 
Be stillFriends, it has only been two weeks since we first heard we cannot gather in groups for church, go to work with more than ten people or go about our days like we did before the threat. Is this inconvenient? Yes, even more so with wage earners with families. Parents are now teachers as well as wage earners. The elderly, already fearful because of all the bombarding ads and phone calls about their health, are now at greater risk with this new virus. The unhealthy have been secluded from the world.
With hourly news updates along with social media it might seem to some people that we have been living in chaotic times for months. People, it’s only been a couple of weeks. I know, right? Why do we think like that? Because in our small part of the world, we are spoiled. Even the poorest among us can get food in the United States. This is not so in other countries. Instead of an attitude of sharing what you have with others, it is a growing attitude of get it while you can because you might not get it later. Wow.
 
Here’s the bottom line: Those with little to no faith in God live now in greater fear because they are no longer in complete control of their daily lives. Someone else is telling them how to combat a virus among us. Government leaders are tirelessly trying to control the situation while we who want to be always in control go our own way. We are being told to wash their hands, stay home with our family as the first line of defense of the spread of this virus. It makes sense, but we are a people who are prideful. We think we know what is best so we go our own way, getting irritable and even angry when we cannot.
 
Exodus 2 God isFear and anxiety seems to be the new norm for many. We are acting as if our whole world has fallen apart, panic is leading to hoarding, temporary lost wages are sending many into a tailspin.
 
Exodus 2 hears usTEMPORARY is the key term. This IS a first for our nation and for most of the world. But it is only temporary. If we stop to pray asking God for his resourcefulness and creativity to be in us instead of panic, we might surprise ourselves in what HE will do in and through us. Yes, we might ask God what He will teach us as we pass through these waters with Him. Some of the greatest inventions in the world were birthed in times of chaos!
 
Those who know God know that we can trust God to remember His promise to us to save us, listen to our cries for help, understand the challenges before us and see our situation with His Way out. He always has and He always will. Thank you, God!
 
The Exodus of God’s people from YEARS of living hard times will teach us how great God is and how He is always at work. Listen to this story of God in the life of Moses. The last few lines of this passage spoke volumes to me this morning:
 
Their cries for relief from their hard labor ascended to God:
God listened to their groanings.
God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.
God saw what was going on with Israel.
God understood.
 
Exodus 2, The Message
1-3 A man from the family of Levi married a Levite woman. The woman became pregnant and had a son. She saw there was something special about him and hid him. She hid him for three months. When she couldn’t hide him any longer she got a little basket-boat made of papyrus, waterproofed it with tar and pitch, and placed the child in it. Then she set it afloat in the reeds at the edge of the Nile.
 
Exodus 2 Moses baby4-6 The baby’s older sister found herself a vantage point a little way off and watched to see what would happen to him. Pharaoh’s daughter came down to the Nile to bathe; her maidens strolled on the bank. She saw the basket-boat floating in the reeds and sent her maid to get it. She opened it and saw the child—a baby crying! Her heart went out to him. She said, “This must be one of the Hebrew babies.”
 
7 Then his sister was before her: “Do you want me to go and get a nursing mother from the Hebrews so she can nurse the baby for you?”
 
8 Pharaoh’s daughter said, “Yes. Go.” The girl went and called the child’s mother.
 
9 Pharaoh’s daughter told her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me. I’ll pay you.” The woman took the child and nursed him.
 
Exodus 2 drew him out10 After the child was weaned, she presented him to Pharaoh’s daughter who adopted him as her son. She named him Moses (Pulled-Out), saying, “I pulled him out of the water.”
 
11-12 Time passed. Moses grew up. One day he went and saw his brothers, saw all that hard labor. Then he saw an Egyptian hit a Hebrew—one of his relatives! He looked this way and then that; when he realized there was no one in sight, he killed the Egyptian and buried him in the sand.
 
13 The next day he went out there again. Two Hebrew men were fighting. He spoke to the man who started it: “Why are you hitting your neighbor?”
 
14 The man shot back: “Who do you think you are, telling us what to do? Are you going to kill me the way you killed that Egyptian?”
 
Then Moses panicked: “Word’s gotten out—people know about this.”
 
15 Pharaoh heard about it and tried to kill Moses, but Moses got away to the land of Midian. He sat down by a well.
 
Exodus 2 sin16-17 The priest of Midian had seven daughters. They came and drew water, filling the troughs and watering their father’s sheep. When some shepherds came and chased the girls off, Moses came to their rescue and helped them water their sheep.
 
18 When they got home to their father, Reuel, he said, “That didn’t take long. Why are you back so soon?”
 
19 “An Egyptian,” they said, “rescued us from a bunch of shepherds. Why, he even drew water for us and watered the sheep.”
 
20 He said, “So where is he? Why did you leave him behind? Invite him so he can have something to eat with us.”
 
21-22 Moses agreed to settle down there with the man, who then gave his daughter Zipporah (Bird) to him for his wife. She had a son, and Moses named him Gershom (Sojourner), saying, “I’m a sojourner in a foreign country.”
 
23 Many years later the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned under their slavery and cried out. Their cries for relief from their hard labor ascended to God:
 
24 God listened to their groanings.
 
God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.
 
25 God saw what was going on with Israel.
 
God understood.
 
THINK ABOUT IT!
 
Exodus 2 raising a leaderGod’s means of preparation of His deliverer are beautifully ironic: the very person who had decreed the destruction of the people of God would become the grandfather of their deliverer; the resources of the oppressing power would be used to raise and train the one who would break that power.
 
How characteristic of God’s grace it is that not only is Jochebed’s baby given back to her, but she is paid to do what she would gladly have done for nothing. She knew her boy was special, not only to her, but to God.
 
Exodus 2 God knew
MOSES’ MISTAKE IN JUDGMENT: Moses seeks to deliver his people in his own strength without incurring any responsibility (v.12). This is not God’s way. Not only does it fail to reveal God, which is essential to any genuine salvation, it also relies solely on destruction of the human oppressor through human ability. Thus Moses’ effort is a classic example of human effort to do God’s work. This is not God’s way.
 
GOD’S WAY: Our passage closes by identifying the true source of hope for all the oppressed of earth. It is not in a failed man, but in a God who hears and sees, who remembers his commitments and is moved by a caring heart.
 
Dear Heavenly Father, Lord and Savior,
We humbly bow to you in submission and ask for your way out of our temporary situation. Heal our land of all that keeps us from you.
In Jesus Name, Amen
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